Strengthen Hamstrings & Open Hips For BJJ With This Exercise

Image Source: Mikael Häggström, M.D. via Wikimedia Commons

In our continuation with standing hip mobility, we’re now going to focus on the opposite from our hip flexor focus last time. This brings us to using end range isometrics for the hamstrings and building hip extension.

We will begin looking at how I use this exercise before I break it down into cues and protocol.


I pair the hamstring end range isometric with my (A) lunge exercises such as this one HERE. I prefer to do a lunge hold for a specified amount of time then perform pulsing movements for a specified amount of time. Once completed, I go directly into the (B) isometric mobility exercises.

Before going to the next set I enjoy doing a (C) passive couch stretch for the hip flexor, where I use the principles from the last exercise to engage the hamstring. I normally do this for at least 30 seconds each way.

Hamstring Holds Protocol

  • Stand supported against the wall
  • Support leg is straight with big toe pushing down to help engage glute
  • Reaching behind with opposite arm place yourself in the classic standing quadriceps stretch Hold for at least 30 seconds before beginning the real work
  • Gaining tension in your hamstring and glute, let go of your leg and seek to keep it held in place
  • Use irradiation with the outside hand (either squeeze as tightly or open as wide as possible) to help facilitate the isometric contraction
  • Hold for 5 seconds at least and slowly straighten
  • Perform 5 of these before switching sides
  • Perform at least 2 sets

Use of The Bosu Ball

Use of the Bosu Ball targets different angles of the foot. It forces you to practice keeping a wide foot to promote balance. If you keep gripping with your feet, you will only tighten that musculature and make it even harder to balance.

This is an optional addition to any of these standing mobility exercises.

Final Considerations

Utilizing this in conjunction with a lunge based movement as a superset is something I highly recommend. It’s also good as a primer before training in a stand-alone fashion with some of the previous mobility exercises I’ve covered in recent weeks.

I also find performing “tension and release” exercises such as this help me ease into my recovery post-training, especially after a harder grappling session. More than anything, play with the exercise and see how you can plug it into your training to increase your longevity, help with injury prevention, and performance!

Mobility Training in Action

I’m releasing my first video product and 12 week training program “Secrets to Soft, Stable, Strong, and Supple Low Back/Hips”.

You can find the preorder HERE. It’ll be live for a few more weeks before the sale ends.


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